Top sommeliers weigh in on what's important when shopping for glasses.
By Susan Choung, AUG 15, 2023
Drinking wine out of a red Solo cup may do in a pinch, but it’s not a great look when actual grown people come to your house. If it’s time to level up your stemware, you may wonder, “What are the best wine glasses? Does it even matter?” The answer is as clear as hand-blown crystal: Yes, the wine glass matters. A great glass can elevate your wine drinking experience, even for an inexpensive bottle. On the flip side, the wrong glass can dull a stellar wine’s brilliance. If you're searching for the best red wine glasses, best white wine glasses, or something more all-purpose, we've got you covered.
A few elements that set the best wine glasses apart are the shape, size and thinness. These factors very much affect how your senses perceive the wine (science!). Other factors, like the material and weight of the glass and length of the stem, can play a role in the enjoyment. We tapped some of the top sommeliers in the country to weigh in on what to look for when shopping for the best wine glasses.
According to Aldo Sohm, wine director at Le Bernardin restaurant and Aldo Sohm Wine Bar in New York City, drinking wine from a superior glass is like listening to music on an advanced speaker system versus something you inherited from your grandfather. No matter how phenomenal your wine is, you may not be able to taste all the nuances if it’s poured in the wrong glass. Whether it’s for the best sparkling wines or the trendiest natural wine, you deserve to have the stemware equivalent of Dolby surround sound to enjoy your vino to the max.
BEST CRYSTAL WINE GLASSES
Gabriel-Glas Stand’art Universal Glasses
The resonant chime of crystal wine glasses clinking is one of the joys of raising a toast but be prepared to shell out a little more that sound. That said, this set of two from Austrian producer Gabriel-Glas overdelivers for the price. The glass looks fragile but the lead-free crystal (a lighter form of crystal glass) makes it surprisingly durable and able to be pulled thinner than leaded crystal. The result is a super thin rim that lets the wine travel almost seamlessly to the palate. The exaggerated tulip shape features an ample bowl with sloped sides to enhance the aromas and flavor of wine, from sparkling and delicate whites all the way to bold reds. However, that shape can be divisive and not to everyone's liking.
Material: Crystal | Capacity: 16 ounces | Height: 9 inches | Dishwasher-safe: Yes | Set: 2 | Price per glass: ~$34